ArchiveJuly 2015

Data on occupational licensing: we have the most highly trained cosmetologists in the world

Furthermore, the variation in regulatory stringency across industries looks arbitrary as well. You might expect that the strictest regulation would be reserved for industries in which potential consumer harms are the worst. How then to explain the fact that cosmetologists must complete an average of 372 days of education and training before getting their license while emergency medical...

Tenured professor fired for saying “fuck”

Winter is coming to higher education.
This month, Louisiana State University fired—outright fired—a tenured professor of education, Teresa Buchanan, ostensibly for creating a “hostile work environment” via sexual harassment. Her infraction? Allowing profanities to pass from her tenured lips, and unleashing a single ill-advised bon mot about sexual intercourse.

How many colleges do we really need?

But colleges rarely go under because they are heavily subsidized and regulated by the government. They receive hundreds of billions of dollars in direct subsidies (and indirect tax breaks as non-profits) and the only way to get access to those funds is to be an accredited institution, under a system controlled by the colleges themselves. The story of Sweet Briar College is a perfect example of...

Malcolm Gladwell is skeptical of big data

Malcolm Gladwell had some bad news for mobile marketers: Just because you have more data doesn’t mean you’re going to make better decisions. At Tune’s 2015 Postback conference on Thursday, Gladwell outlined the gap between what we may think we know about audience and the truth. In normal Gladwellian-style, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Outliers offered a contrarian view to the...

How analytics could land you in jail

Apparently, when people search on Google looking for a job, men see significantly higher paying job opportunities than women do. Given that it is generally illegal to discriminate based on gender, it appears that either Google, a male-dominated firm, could be adjusting the results to favor men, or the client companies could be, in order to get around equal opportunity laws. I think we could argue...

22-year-old spends $90,000 trust fund in three years of college

Seems almost too good to be true: The woman, a 22-year-old college junior named Kim, who did not give her last name on air and was allowed to use a voice disguiser to even further shield her identity, came to the three hosts with a confession: in just short three years she had managed to blow through a $90,000 college fund left to her by her grandparents. Kim has one year left of school and no...

About me


Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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